Death row execution abandoned after officials 'unable' to give lethal injection - with inmate's death warrant to expire

28 February 2024, 20:11 | Updated: 28 February 2024, 20:34

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.
Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table. Picture: Idaho Department of Correction via AP
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

A man convicted of five murders, and suspected of many more, had his execution called off after prison officials were unable to give his lethal injection.

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Thomas Eugene Creech, 73, was set to be executed by lethal injection at 10am local time (5pm UK time) in a maximum-security Idaho prison.

His execution would have been the second in the US in 2024, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.

Volunteers could then insert a catheter into one of his veins before being injected with a lethal drug.

However, the process was abandoned at 10.58am as prison officers could not establish an IV.

Creech's death warrant will now expire.

His execution would have been the second in the US in 2024, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.
His execution would have been the second in the US in 2024, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre. Picture: Idaho Department of Correction via AP

The Idaho Department of Corrections said in a statement: "At approximately 11am, Director Tewalt, after consulting with the medical team leader, determined that the medical team could not establish an IV line, rendering the execution unable to proceed.

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"Mr Creech will be returned to his cell and witnesses will be escorted out of the facility. As a result, the death warrant will expire. The State will consider next steps."

His death could have ended a 50-year stay in prison.

Creech was originally sentenced to death for shooting John Wayne Bradford and Edward Thomas Arnold to death but this became a life sentence after the state found it to be unconstitutional.

In 1983, he was then sentenced to death for beating inmate 22-year-old disabled David Dale to death on 13 May 1981.

The murderer was also convicted in 1974 for killing William Joseph Dean in Oregon and Vivian Grant Robinson in California.

In addition, he was charged with killing Sandra Jane Ramsamooj in Oregon - this change was later dropped in light of the other murder sentence.

He was tried and then cleared for killing Paul Schrader, 70, in California but authorities still believe Creech is the perpetrator.

They also say that information provided by Creech led authorities to two bodies, with one being in Las Vegas and another in Wyoming.

His death could have ended a 50-year stay in prison.
His death could have ended a 50-year stay in prison. Picture: Getty

This comes after the Supreme Court denied the convict's last chance at a last-minute reprieve, even with claims that the execution should be delayed.

Many other late appeals against the election had been denied by judges in four courts.

Those in support of Creech said that the 73-year-old had become kind and supportive whilst incarcerated.

However, prosecuting lawyer Jill Longhurst described him as a "psychopath".

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